Wednesday, August 11, 2010


A very touchy subject for a lot of people--weight.

I must admit I've been pretty lucky, never really been overweight before. But of course I like to be thin & work hard to maintain my weight. Sometimes I am criticized by people because I want to lose a little weight yet I'm not technically overweight. Well that's my business is all I can say. I'm not trying to achieve being underweight & having less body fat is healthy.

When I was younger (all the way up to my mid 20s) I could eat & eat & eat, I could easily out-eat most people, even men!! And I never gained a pound either, no matter what I was eating!

While in my late 20's I went back to school, I was in the LVN program (licensed vocation nurse). Now this is a FULL time program--beyond full time actually. You are in school a minimum of 40 hours each week & then have TONS of homework on top of that. Add to that the fact that I worked on the weekends & it's total insanity. The LVN program is a full year, including summer school. You carry well over 20 units each semester, with the exception of summer school, I think it was around 18 units for summer school.

By the end of this year I realized I had gained about 20 pounds. This was the first time in my life I had ever gained weight. I realized my stress level was very intense, I was in my late 20s, & knew I had to do something fast.

I was able to lose 15 of those 20 lbs. I did it just by eating smaller portions & doing more cardio. Those were the easy days, the 20s. I always hear people in their 20s (early 20s even!) complaining how hard it is to lose weight & I always warn them they had better get control of their weight now & not later cuz it only gets harder & harder as time goes on.

Of course even though I lost those 15 lbs I was still in school working on my pre-reqs for the RN program (registered nurse). And I was working full time too. Life was still stressful & I was entering my early 30s. I gained a few pounds due to that. And I also found that in my early 30s there was no more easy weight loss like before.

So I got myself a pedometer & followed a plan in a book called "the step diet". You just keep increasing your steps each week & eating less food. I have to say it worked. I got the weight off in time to enter the RN program.

Now because I was already an LVN I only had to do the second year of the 2 year RN program. It was semesters 3 & 4. I have to say that the 3rd semester was really a cake walk for me. I did really well in both clinical & lecture & had very little stress (there is always "some" stress in nursing school no matter what) & I didn't gain any weight at all. But the 4th semester was very tough & really kicked my butt & I did end up gaining 15 lbs.

After I graduated I was determined to drop those 15 lbs. For several months I kept trying to eat healthy, small portions, workout more, etc. None of it made any difference now. I was in my mid 30s now & it was even harder than the early 30s!! I did try to do the step diet again & had no success at all.

I was getting really frustrated & around that time my cousin shared with me that she was doing the south beach diet & having success with it (& that she had done it before & had success then too). I decided to give it a try. I did feel like I needed a structered set of rules to follow.

At first glance I didn't think I could do it. Giving up carbs was impossible for me. But then I decided to take a look at it from a different angle. How was I going to sit back & let my body & it's cravings dictate what I put in my mouth? I got kinda angry about it & I allowed that anger to fuel me. I saw it as a challenge & when my mind is put to something nothing will stop me & so I did the diet & had great success. I was the thinnest I had been in a lot of years. And I was very happy.

I have always wanted to make sure I turn 40 at my goal weight because I know it only gets harder once you turn 40 & it's hard enough now already. I was actually pleased that I was done with school, I felt there should be no more reasons to ever gain weight again in my life & was thrilled at this thought.

And then I found I was pregnant. Not only was I pregnant but it was a long & hard pregnancy for me. I had morning sickness the entire pregnancy & had major food aversions to tons of foods. About the only foods I could stomach & keep down were carbs. Plus there was tons of stress--we had a huge fire in our community, 6 houses surrounding us burned & this caused a great deal of smoke damage to our house, etc. This along with modified bed rest at the beginning of the 3rd trimester all contributed to the whopping 47 lbs I gained during the pregnancy.

Once the baby was born I had lost 27 lbs (the baby, placenta, water bag, all the extra blood volume, & the fluid from swelling). So I had 20 more to go. I kept trying to get back on the south beach diet & I was doing it all according to the plan & I did lose some weight but not much. And I've been stuck for a really long time now.

I'm turning 38 next month & still want to turn 40 already at my goal weight. I have to do something & I have to do it fast. So I decided to try Suzanne Somers eating plan. It's a low carb plan with food combining involved. I did try food combining when I was a teen (from the fit for life book) & I sure did feel great while doing it, it was just too strict for me to keep it up long term. And Suzanne even mentions this program & the fact that she feels it is TOO strict. I am just starting it today, so we'll see how it goes. I have to admit I like the fact that I can have carbs, I just have to not have them with any fat or protein.

I grew up watching my mom & sister go from one fad diet to the next & never be satisfied. I promised myself I would never end up like that. While trying out diets makes me nervous that I am headed in that direction, I still feel that I am not like that.

Number one: I will never put my weight before my health. I will never follow a diet that will harm my health in the process of losing weight. (I have to admit I saw them try several diets that were outright not healthy)

Number two: I don't believe at all that I am doing fad diets, I am only interested in changing my eating habits for life.

I have to admit I do make modifications wherever I don't agree.

Like with the south beach diet: he tells you to use artificial sweeteners & margarine. I absolutely refuse to use either of these, they are made in laboratories with chemicals, they have no place in my body, so I refuse to eat them. I learned to give up sugar completely & used butter in moderation. He also made a big deal about only using low fat & no fat dairy & I didn't always follow that, depending on what it was. To me it's important that dairy is organic (sans hormones & antibiotics) & it can be difficult & sometimes impossible to find low fat organic dairy, & so I would prioritize organic over low fat & would still eat full fat dairy at times.

I like the fact that Suzanne Somers is very into eating healthy & eating REAL food. This is why when I tried to think of what diet to try next her name came to mind. I respect her as a person & wanted to give her plan a try. I am happy to see that she is anti-margarine & anti-artifical sweeteners. Although she has her own sweetener (somersweet) that she's really pushing, but I still don't plan to use it. I'm sure it's great & I'm sure it's healthier than the artificial ones out there, but I would just rather give up sweets. It's shocking to me that people refuse to see that as a legitimate alternative. No sugar & no sugar substitutes, it's not that impossible to do.

So today is day one of starting her diet. I hope to have great success on this. We shall see.....

No comments: